Agreed Canibul. And lest anyone miss the obvious point: CF operates on exactly the same model as Facebook etc. WE are the product here on CF.
There actually was a time when the Internet operated without commercial
interests. We had these same kinds of discussions on BBSs and then Usenet. Not as flashy or engaging as forums
like CF (running vBulletin), but just as functional.
But as is typical with the "free" market, it continually invades and subsumes public space, converting what was once a communal resource into a private good. It then turns around and charges for the use of what was once free.
Ain't nothing free about the "free" market.
But to get this rant back on track, CF is a private, for-profit enterprise that delivers real value to its users, and its owners. It has real costs, and as a for-profit, must make real profits. I have no problem with that. What I do object to is all the secret data collection that goes on without most people's knowledge (I can't even find reference to CF doing this in their Terms of Service
Agreement which we've all read and agree to
). For example, there are five trackers running in the background on this page. The average user would never know.
Forcing me to view ads is simple an invitation for me to find ways to avoid them, but secretly scooping my data without me knowing it's even happening is wrong in my books